☛ Want the latest procurement and supply chain news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the Supply Management Daily
23 January 2013 | Anna Reynolds
Limited Brands, owner of underwear labels Victoria’s Secret and La Senza, has become the 14th global corporation to commit to eliminating all hazardous chemicals across its supply chain by 2020.
The announcement was made following investigations by Greenpeace into a number of international clothing brands as part of its global Detox campaign.
Its report, Toxic Threads, examined four garments from leading fashion brands, including one item from Victoria's Secret, in which it detected high levels of the chemical phthalates. The rest of the Victoria's Secret sample indicated only low levels of the substance. Phthalates are used to make plastics soft and flexible but have been found to have negative effects on the environment and disrupt the hormone balance in humans if they are exposed to large quantities over a long period of time.
Limited Brands will carry out an investigation to discover how many unwanted chemicals are currently present in its supply chain and report the findings by the end of June. It also plans to take a number of steps as part of its commitment:
● It will strengthen language used in supplier contracts to ensure only APEO-free chemicals are used. This will prevent the use of phthalates.
● It will disclose data on what chemicals are released from 80 per cent of its global supply chain by the end of 2013.
● It will ban perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) by July 2015. This will apply to all brands and products sold at its 3,000 stores.
Marietta Harjono, Detox campaigner at Greenpeace International said: “Limited Brands has the chance to move from toxic villain to ‘Detox angel’ with its commitment to completely eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its supply chains and products. The onus is now on the company to follow up on its ambitious statement and quickly turn words into action.”
The Detox campaign demands fashion brands commit to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020 and require their suppliers to disclose all releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to communities at the site of the water pollution.
Sam Fried, executive vice president for law, policy and governance at Limited Brands, said: “Limited Brands considers clean water a critical global issue and is proud to join Greenpeace in its campaign to eliminate hazardous chemical use.”
It joins Uniqlo, Benetton, Levi’s and others who have signed up to the campaign.